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BLOOMFIELD – Cecil Linnens embraced his time as Bloomfield's Athletic Director, capping off his 34 years of working in different coaching and administrative capacities.

“It went quick,” Linnens said, chuckling.

That's what made his decision to retire from athletics after the 2019-2020 school year that much more difficult.

“It was hard. I really like Bloomfield. The people were great around there. The kids are great. Most of them are hard-working, determined,” Linnens said. “I enjoyed the heck out of it. If it wasn’t for family, I wouldn’t be moving at all. I guarantee you that."

Linnens also said that Bloomfield School District Superintendent Kim Mizell and BHS Principal Chad Burkholder are "both just phenomenal."

Linnens said his daughter Rachael is expecting twins, her third and fourth kids, in the next week or so, so he will be moving to Surprise, Arizona to be closer to them.

Linnens said being an athletic director helped him learn to appreciate every sport and get a feel for the different teams and commitment levels.

“The great thing is you’re at all the athletic events. It comes back to the kids,” Linnens said. "The kids still worked their tails off."

Linnens' athletic department career dates back to the 1986-1987 school year when he was an assistant wrestling coach at La Cueva. Linnens also served as the wrestling coach at Bloomfield and Shiprock during the 1990s.

Linnens later spent three years as Kirtland Central's Athletic Director before taking on the same role at Bloomfield in 2016.

“Bloomfield’s always been a tough community in the athletic world. It’s not uncommon to see them (at state championship levels),” Linnens said. “That community really supports athletics.”

During Linnens' time at BHS, Bloomfield's girls basketball team reached the state finals in 2018, and the football team played in back-to-back state finals in 2018 and 2019.

“It was awesome. I was lucky enough to see that,” Linnens said. “The commitment and that determination, you’ve got to put a lot of time to get to that level.”

Still, Linnens said he may consider coming out of retirement if a future Athletic Director/Assistant Principal role in Arizona emerges.

Applications for the Bloomfield A.D. vacancy are being accepted on the district's website.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and on Twitter at @MattH_717.

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